Another No-Hitter for Oklahoma's Ricketts

Oklahoma College Softball Keilani Ricketts

Another No-Hitter for Oklahoma's Ricketts

The University of Oklahoma softball team and pitcher Keilani Ricketts ended the season Sunday in Stillwater like she opened it—throwing a no-hitter—in a 5-0 shutout. Ricketts no-hit the Cowgirls for her record fifth no-no of the season and fifth of her outstanding career. The Sooners got six hits off the Cowgirls and made them count, with super soph Laura Chamberlain hitting a pair of two-run homers. “This team finished (the regular season) the way they wanted to and I feel they are all in,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso.” There’s no motivating speeches. We’re either all in and going after it or we’re not.”

Next step for the Sooners is hosting an NCAA Regional on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Marist, Fordham and Arkansas completing the field of teams. This is the second year in a row OU has hosted a Regional. It won the Regional last year, then hosted a Super Regional and defeated Arizona twice to advance to the World Series for the seventh time. OU will be the heavy favorite in  this weekend’s  Regional and Ricketts will again play a major role. She finished the year 27-1 and was featured on the OU 2013 Media Guide, which had pictures of her at different ages throughout her career. Across the top it said: “dreams do come true”. Ricketts is hoping that dream (winning the national title) becomes a reality this year after the Sooners came up short last year, losing two games of a best-of-three series to Alabama, which became the first SEC team to win softball’s top honor.

But Ricketts knows it’s one game at a time and certainly won’t be looking ahead in what some OU fans are anticipating could be the best season in the history of OU softball. But first things first, so the Sooners open regional play Friday night against Marist with Fordham and Arkansas meeting in the opening game.  This will be the first time OU has played Marist in softball, and the fifth time in the past six years the Sooners have hosted a regional. “There will be a lot of research, a lot of preparation and film and getting everyone on the same page,” said OU coach Patty Gasso.  “We’re excited to get started”.

OU needs three wins in the double-elimination regional to advance to the super regional, which they hosted last year by beating Arizona twice. While being ranked No. 1 is a benefit, Gasso knows too well that doesn’t amount to much because the real work is between the while lines. “It (ranked No. 1) puts you in a pretty good position and gives you home-field advantage, but ultimately the work is still right in front of us. You’ve still got to get it done on your field.”